31 October 2011

Sister Mary Raphael Speer – 101 on October 31, 2011!

Many might think that October 31 is a day reserved for ghosts, goblins and trick or treating, but the day is special for another reason. Today everyone in the Georgetown Visitation Monastery and Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School community celebrated with their dear Sister Mary Raphael Speer on her 101st birthday (although many of the celebrants wore costumes)! A large group of students and faculty lined the main hallway of Founders Hall to serenade Sister with a rousing version of Happy Brithday.  Elvis "the King" Presley (aka Head of School Dan Kerns) presented Sister with a large bouquet of roses which she accepted with a huge smile.

Sr. Raphael was born on Halloween in 1910 in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA.   After taking her vows as a Sister of the Visitation of Holy Mary at the Order’s monastery in Parkersburg, WV, she spent many years as a math and English teacher, a librarian and a school administrator.  She was also the Mother Superior of the Visitation community in Parkersberg. When that monastery closed in the early 1990's, Sister Raphael chose to join the Georgetown Visitation monastery.  These days she keeps all of the other Sisters on their toes with her razor-sharp mind, ever-present wit and an interest in each of the sisters and the school’s 490 students.   Sr. Raphael loves geography and can often be found searching an atlas to locate a new country in Africa or determine the distance between two cities.  And at 101 she still enjoys a mean game of Parchesi during the Sisters’ periodic game nights.

Sister Raphael’s inquiring mind and broad range of interests have only increased with the passage of years. Her witty comments are a constant source of enjoyment for all who know her; she'll often ask a thought-provoking questions like, "I wonder how spaghetti got its name?"  Her presence is a tremendous gift to our entire community!

23 October 2011

Slowly getting the blog back in shape

The template for this blog mysteriously vanished, but thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine it was possible to look at the previous template for this blog and copy it. Gradually this blog should look more like the one you're used to! The image at the top is now formatted, and some of the features at the left such as mass readings have returned. Changes may continue while I experiment with fonts and posting (getting rid of that white-against-blue post lettering, for example), but gradually it will come into shape. Thank you, readers, for so much encouragement!

Sr. Mary Baptista Klein, part two of a series

The stories about Sr. Mary Baptista Klein are legend. She was the English teacher who would give one of only three grades: C+, C, or “See me,” the yearbook moderator who sent at least one young editor to the hospital with gastric ulcers, the determined photographer who took and developed all the yearbook pictures, as well as the lovely scenes of the Visitation campus still given to students at Awards Night. Like her photos, Sister’s opinions often seemed black and white. At the same time, she proved herself a sensitive and devoted friend to many, many students, some of whom needed special understanding. She was endearing, challenging . . . and something of a tragic figure.

15 October 2011

St. Francis de Sales Leadership Society Dinner

These are photos of some of our sisters with alumnae and their families. They were taken at our annual St. Francis de Sales Leadership Society dinner Wednesday evening, October 12.
This is a dinner the Sisters and the school give to show appreciation and thanks to alumnae parents and friends who have been most generous to Visitation in the previous year.

Their support is crucial to both the school and the Sisters. (Although both our founders, St. Jane de Chantal and St. Francis de Sales, are often quoted as emphasizing the importance of giving little gifts with great love, leadership gifts are also important in order to support a school with 490 students on a 23-acre campus graced several buildings dating to the mid-19th century.)
The evening was to have begun with a cocktail hour in the Monastery Garden (a rare treat), but rain forced that part of the evening indoors. After enjoying appetizers and drinks in Founders Hall, the group moved to a lovely tented buffet dinner in the Quadrangle. With well-over 100 guests in attendance it was a festive evening emphasizing the blessings of faith and friendship.

13 October 2011

Sr. Mary Baptista Klein, a series to come

Many of us remember Sr. Mary Baptista Klein, aka “Bappie.” The stories about her are legend. In cooperation with the monastery archivist we will post some stories about her in the days to come as part of a little series. Meanwhile, here are two photos!

06 October 2011

A golden jubilee in autumn

Congratulations to Sister Mary Immaculata as she celebrates her 50th year of vows on October 3rd, 2011!

An in-school friendship leads to marriage

This cute photo is from the shower for two of our school employees, Uyo and Arjetta, who will soon be married. Congratulations to the happy couple!

The blogging gets better

I found an archive of this website, and am working to restore the nifty little features Blogger nixed in a blink. Soon this page will be back to its former, familiar look! More soon, plus news and photographs from the archives.

02 October 2011

Does anyone understand Blogger?

Blogger had a major update that we did not choose or want, and now this page looks completely different (new colors, new fonts). Also, certain elements of the Live+Jesus! blog are missing. If you are knowledgeable about Blogger and want to help, please post a comment here. Thank you.

Mother Jacqueline Says...

Here's another in a series of favorite quotes and sayings from Mother Jacqueline. Like the first in our series, this one comes from Holy Father, St. Francis de Sales: "During the course of the day you will find the eyes of Jesus turned towards you and constantly fixed on you with an incomparable Love."